Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine facilitates age-related cardiac inflammation and macrophage M1 polarization

Hiroe Toba, Lisandra E. de Castro Brás, Catalin F. Baicu, Merry L. Lindsey, Amy D. Bradshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


To investigate the role of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) in age-related cardiac inflammation, we studied six groups of mice: young (3-5 mo old), middle-aged (10-12 mo old), and old (18-29 mo old) C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) and SPARC-null (Null) mice (n = 7-10/group). Cardiac function and structure were determined by echocardiography. The left ventricle was used for cytokine gene array and macrophage quantification by immunohistochemistry. Macrophage infiltration increased with age in WT (n = 5-6/group, P < 0.05 for young vs. old), but not in Null. Proinflammatory markers (Ccl5, Cx3cl1, Ccr2, and Cxcr3) increased in middle-aged and old WT, whereas they were increased only in old Null compared with respective young (n = 5-6/group, P < 0.05 for all). These results suggest that SPARC deletion delayed age-related cardiac inflammation. To further assess how SPARC affects inflammation, we stimulated peritoneal macrophages with SPARC (n = 4). SPARC treatment increased expression of proinflammatory macrophage M1 markers and decreased anti-inflammatory M2 markers. Echocardiography (n = 7-10/group) revealed an age-related increase in wall thickness of the left ventricle in WT (0.76 ± 0.02 mm in young vs. 0.91 ± 0.03 mm in old; P < 0.05) but not in Null (0.78 ± 0.01 mm in young vs. 0.84 ± 0.02 mm in old). In conclusion, SPARC deletion delayed age-related increases in macrophage infiltration and proinflammatory cytokine expression in vivo and in vitro. SPARC acts as an important mediator of age-related cardiac inflammation by increasing the expression of macrophage M1 markers and decreasing M2 markers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C972-C982
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2015


  • Aging
  • Heart
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophage
  • Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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